There are of course a few things you should consider when buying an automobile. There is a huge range of them out there, both issues to consider as well as potential vehicles. As such, it can help to narrow down your options in order to come to some sort of short-list. Let’s take a look at a few questions you might want to ask yourself:
What’s my budget?
Well, that’s up to you to decide. Unless you’re absolutely crazy about cars, it’s probably not worth getting into a huge amount of debt over. After all, the other costs including insurance and breakdown cover etc should all be factored in when considering this issue.
What is the car going to be used for?
One of the most obvious questions really. If you’re going to be using a car for the track, there’s little point getting a huge Oldsmobile (unless you are racing in an Oldsmobile tournament). On the other hand, if you’re a mother with two children that you have to drop off and pick up at school every day, then you’ll want something with space.
How far are you going to drive?
One of the most important issues that are not often considered is how far you’ll drive the car. Bigger cars can feature more creature comforts – which would be more appealing to a salesman for instance who may have to travel a great distance every week for his company. The same car however could prove uneconomical for a single person doing regular short trips or just using the vehicle at the weekend.
New or used?
This is one of the biggest issues in buying a car – do you go with second (or third or fourth) hand, or do you take the plunge, add finance and then drive away in a car with single digit mileage on the clock? Whilst the latter option can look quite attractive, the idea of losing up to one fifth of the value of the vehicle after less than a year makes it sometimes seem like financial idiocy.
Diesel, LPG, electric or petrol?
There are a whole host of various fuel options available today in the modern automotive market. What you pick can make a difference in how the car performs (diesel engines tend to be more torquey for example), how far it can go without refuelling and even how good it is for the environment. This is no doubt an issue that will become more important over time – this is especially apparent here in the UK. The other issue regarding fuel is consumption – just how much will it cost to run?
Which style and bodyshape?
This really ties in with the first question. What you buy depends on the purpose of the vehicle, but it also depends on personal taste. My parents for example favour smaller cars, though this is more because of their appearance over their economical qualities. I myself prefer a saloon bodyshape, though not necessarily the fuel consumption.
What about service?
Servicing the car and the availability of parts is a very important issue when buying a car. Unless you’re in love with a particularly rare brand (and I mean really in love) it will always be worth considering a more widely available model if just because you’ll have less trouble sourcing parts when inevitably things do go wrong.
What about the brand – that’s important right?
Well, it depends where you are. Brands carry certain connotations. Some countries don’t care; the car is after all a mode of transport. Here in the UK though it tends to say something about the owner. I guess in that respect brand and model is important.
Just picking up from the last point, ownership satisfaction is the most important issue really when it comes down to owning a car. If you’re sure of the car, it will give you exactly what you want for years to come – whether that’s space, freedom, speed or just a reliable way to get from a to b.